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Ethical Values & Decision-Making in Nursing

In the nursing profession, decision-making is expected to ethical as prescribed by the Ethical Code of Conduct designed by the American Psychological Association (APA). Essential VIII implies that nurses should always remain professional in resolving complicated situations and daily practices. Professionalism can be regarded as the constant presentation of the core values to deliver high-quality care to patients and families in collaboration with other specialists (DeNisco & Barker, 2015). In my academic work, I met such ethical principles as non-maleficence, beneficence, and integrity. For example, in resolving the case related to a doctor who made a mistake and intentionally lied about its adverse impacts on the patient, I decided that he was wrong. Even though this doctor clarified that he did another operation, he violated professional integrity by failing to report and deteriorating the patient’s condition. At the same time, my analysis of this case shows that I am well-aware of the principles of non-maleficence, beneficence, which are important not only for patients but also their families.

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Speaking of the moral standards, I would like to emphasize that conscientious honesty was also demonstrated in my academic work about the middle-range theories of Nightingale and Peplau. I noted that both of them can be implemented in my practice, while the former focuses on the basic environmental needs of patients, and the latter provides more specific details about ensuring patient comfort and satisfaction. For instance, it is critical to uphold human dignity by respecting the uniqueness of every individual (DeNisco & Barker, 2015). In my future work, I will follow this principle in paying attention to patients’ physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. In addition, I consider that autonomy is another relevant standard related to Essential VIII, which is associated with valuing a patient’s right to make decisions regarding his or her health, especially if it concerns death, potential surgery, or other critical interventions. The identified examples demonstrate that I am effective in meeting the ethical and moral requirements of nursing professionalism.

As for the legal aspect of Essential VIII, my professional value of social justice can be noted. Regardless of a social status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other factors, I treat my patients equally. Consistent with this value, I understand that all the patients deserve proper attention, diagnostics, treatment, and follow-up. The interaction of the staff and patients can be challenging sometimes due to the cultural differences. In such cases, I try to help my colleagues to resolve these challenges and establish productive relationships with their patients. However, I feel that I need to improve my professionalism by learning more about the legal aspects and problems that may occur at my workplace.

The proficiency in nursing I obtained during my academic work is likely to positively impact my career opportunities. Namely, I expect that my ability to uphold professional values would benefit my interaction with patients to better understand their preferences and cultures. I would like to match my professional values with those of patients and also operate according to Essential VIII. For example, I can apply appreciative inquiry as an ethical problem-solving method, which presents the insight into a complex of human experiences and promotes the development of care delivery practices (Watkins, Dewar, & Kennedy, 2016). Thus, it is evident that by meeting Essential VIII values and standards, I become closer to my professional identity formation and effective practical work in the future.


DeNisco, S. M., & Barker, A. M. (2015). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Watkins, S., Dewar, B., & Kennedy, C. (2016). Appreciative Inquiry as an intervention to change nursing practice in in-patient settings: An integrative review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 60, 179-190.

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